Z.O.A. Convention Asks U.S. to Conclude Defense Treaty with Israel
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Z.O.A. Convention Asks U.S. to Conclude Defense Treaty with Israel

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The Zionist Organization of America adopted today a resolution deploring “recent actions of our State Department” in arming Iraq and making other offers of “arms or military arrangements” which “have only encouraged the Arab governments to believe that an Arab-Israel peace is not imperative and that they may continue to provoke tensions and outbreaks along Israel’s borders with impunity.” (A statement revealing the existence of a split within the ZOA was issued by Louis Lipsky. See Page 3.)

The ZOA called on the United States “to alter this policy, particularly in view of the fact that no arms or mutual security pact have yet been offered to Israel.” The resolution said the ZOA was “deeply disturbed by the unabated tension.” A defense treaty linking Israel with the United States was urged as a solution for and means of strengthening Middle Eastern stability. The U.S. Government was commended for continuing economic and technical assistance to Israel and working toward a regional water agreement.

Attorney General Herbert Brownell, Jr. addressing the convention yesterday, assured the delegates that the United States was “not unmindful” of Israel’s security. “It is our hope and our desire,” he stated, “that area defense arrangements will develop through which all countries in the area can contribute toward their mutual protection against aggression from the Communist menace. This is definitely in our own interest and represents a major element in our policy for the Middle East and for strengthening the defense of the free world.”

Mr. Brownell said the “issues of the Arab-Israel conflict can be resolved through patience and understanding. It is the task of everyone to recognize this and to work toward it.” He cited a recent message by President Eisenhower requesting Congressional approval for Mutual Security legislation, in which the President indicated economic aid and regional water development would do much to eliminate the causes of Arab-Israel tension.


Stating his belief that “Israel’s destiny will remain linked with that of the United States,” Mr. Brownell said: “Now, I am persuaded that in our relations with Israel, any differences which may arise from time to time will undoubtedly be resolved to the mutual satisfaction of both countries. Occasional differences are bound to arise between the friendliest of nations, and the government of the United States has encountered this even in its dealings with its closest allies. But while there are strong ties of mutual interest, identity of outlook and common aspirations, the disagreements are bound to be temporary. The geographic distance between the Potomac and Jordan Rivers may be great, but there is certainly little difference in spirit between the two countries.”

Mr. Brownell assured the ZOA delegates that “Israel stands high on the list of nations whose friendship is of great importance to the American Government and people. We see in Israel a pilot-plant of American ideas in an area of the world that sorely needs these concepts, a striving after goals that are similar to our own.” he stated.

Sen. Hubert H. Humphrey, Minnesota Democrat, addressing the ZOA parley, called on the Administration to conclude a defense pact with Israel and support direct negotiations between Israel and the Arab states.


Dr. Emanuel Neumann told the convention that “a full explanation of the Administration’s Middle Eastern policy and course of action is long overdue.” He said: “To temporize is only to aggravate a critical situation which is rapidly deteriorating. The State Department has officially declared that a defense pact with Israel would be highly logical. Let then President Eisenhower and Secretary Dulles have the courage and leadership to take this constructive step and do it now.

“Many months ago,” Dr. Neumann continued, “the Administration through its authorized spokesmen promised to reconsider American official policy toward Israel and to announce in due course the result of such a re-examination. We take the liberty of reminding the Administration that this promise is still unredeemed. Now and then there are signs of a sounder and more realistic approach to the problem but thus far the State Department has not come up with any plan calculated to remedy the dangerous situation basically and permanently.”

Joseph Serlin, Israel Minister of Health, who came from Jerusalem to address the ZOA convention, appealed to the American Zionist movement to educate Jews in this country for “personal aliyah.” He said that Israel needs more Jews for security and for political and national reasons, “The free countries contain the reservoir of Jewish manpower. The task of the State of Israel must be to create a regime in the country which should attract these Jews. The regime cannot be a socialistic one,” he declared.

Jacques Torczyner, chairman of the ZOA’s world Zionist affairs committee, reported to the convention on what he termed “a widening gulf between the Jews in Israel and the United States.” He attributed “this condition partly to Israel for denying the importance of the Zionist movement and by-passing it consistently and steadily.” He warned that “if there is no Zionist feeling in a community if there is no Zionist guidance, the Jewish consciousness disappears.”


Rabbi Irving Miller, chairman of the American Zionist Council, expressed a view that it is time for a conciliatory move by the Kremlin “insofar as the status of Zionism and Zionists in Soviet Russia is concerned,” in view of the conciliatory attitude toward the West “professed by the present rulers of Soviet Russia aimed at the easing of world tensions.”

He appealed to the Soviet Union to permit contact by world Jewry with Iron Curtain Jewry and to remove “the unjust and cruelly repressive measures against those Jews who are suspected of harboring sympathies toward Zionists and Zionism.” He urged that Soviet Jews wishing to emigrate be permitted to do so. The freeing of Soviet Jewry from anti-Zionist restrictions and other such moves, he said, “will constitute a major test of the genuine intentions on the part of the Soviet Russian Government in their professed desire for co-existence and the restoration of an atmosphere of peace.”

Israel Ambassador Abba Eban told the ZOA delegates that “President Eisenhower’s direct assurance to American Zionists that he attaches great value to firm friendship between America and Israel is matched by the Israel Government’s own desire to cherish and reinforce that friendship.” Apparently commenting on assertions by State Department officials that no real Arab danger confronts Israel, Mr. Eban said: “Anybody who envisages himself and his country in our position of siege and regional solitude must judge for himself whether it is an illusory fear, or an apprehension soundly based.

“The existence of treaty relationships between some of America’s allies and the Arab states further emphasizes the lack of equilibrium in the security structure of the Middle East,” Mr. Eban stated. “It is out of concern for Israel’s legitimate security that Prime Minister Moshe Sharett has publicly stated that we feel entitled to request binding, formal arrangements for maintaining the integrity of our frontiers. The United States,” the Israel Ambassador emphasized, “has a unique opportunity to make a decisive contribution to the stability of the Middle East.”


Mortimer May was re-elected national president of ZOA. Dr. Emanuel Neumann was re-elected chairman of the ZOA executive committee. Named associate chairmen of the executive committee were Dr. Max Nusbaum, Los Angeles, and Herman L. Weisman, New York. Dr. Harris J. Levine was re-elected chairman of the administrative council.

Dr. Levine, who is also president of the Jewish National Fund of America, reported to the ZOA convention that within the last five years 180 border settlements ringing the frontiers of Israel have been built on Jewish National Fund land as part of the contribution of the land development agency of the World Zionist Organization toward the security of Israel. He said that under a new five-year plan undertaken by the JNF $53,000,000 will be required to “establish 200 security villages and the planting of 25,000,000 trees” in Israel. Seventy percent of this sum, he said, will have to be raised here. Mendel N. Fisher, executive director of the Fund, said that since its establishment in 1901 more than $200,000,000 had been raised here for the purchase and development of land in Israel.

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